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Colo. High Court Declines To Hear Big Medical Marijuana Case

By Matt Masich, LAW WEEK COLORADO

DENVER — The court ruling last year that requires a primary caregiver in a medical marijuana context to do more than simply supply the herb will not be heard by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The high court on Tuesday declined to hear on appeal People v. Clendenin, a case in which the Court of Appeals upheld Longmont woman Stacy Clendenin’s conviction for cultivation and sale of marijuana. Clendenin argued it was legal for her to sell medical marijuana because she qualified as a caregiver under Colorado statute.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, concluding “the act of supplying marijuana for medical use, by itself, is insufficient to constitute significant management responsibility for a patient’s well-being, and consequently is insufficient to constitutionally qualify a person doing so as a ‘primary caregiver.’”

On Nov. 3, less than a week of the Court of Appeals’ ruling, the Colorado Board of Health struck the definition in its rules that allowed someone who only sold medical marijuana to be classified as a caregiver. However, the rule change was voided by then-Denver District Court Chief Judge Larry Naves because there had been inadequate public input.

The board has not tried to change the definition again, making the significance of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Clendenin unclear.

In the Court of Appeals, attorney Rob Corry represented Clendenin; Attorney General John Suthers and Assistant Attorney General John T. Lee represented the state.

People v. Clendenin

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